In Aon’s and global risk consultancy firm The Risk Advisory Group’s outlook report for global terrorism and political violence, analysts said the “outlook going into 2017 is one of worsening risk, with five countries now rated as worsening — including the U.S. ”
The four other countries that received a high risk for terrorism and violence assessment were Albania, Hungary, Montenegro and Uzbekistan. The report also noted an increase risk in the hotel and hospitality industries as the sector has been the target of attacks this past year. The target of much of the violence, unrest and terrorist attacks will be from the Islamic State (and its adherents) to Western countries, the analysts said.
“The political repercussions of terrorism in the West over the past two years have been increasingly evident in the rise of right-wing populism and Islamophobia in Europe and the U.S.,” analysts said in the report. “This threat seems to have contributed to the surprise electoral victory of Donald Trump. It is too soon to say whether the electoral success of Trump will lead to greater political violence risks in the West and other regions.”
The report noted that so far, “lessons from the Brexit vote and Trump’s victory suggest that we can expect to see greater levels of far-right political violence in Western countries. ”
The terrorism and global security analysts said that a pattern supporting this is already emerging. “In the U.K., the authorities reported a 41 percent increase in hate crimes directed against minorities in the month following the referendum vote on E.U. membership compared with the month before,” they said.
And in the U.S., there have been similar reports of hate crimes as well as political violence. “At the same time, there have also been numerous protests — some turning violent — against Trump, and reports of violence at counter protests by Trump supporters.,” the analysts said.
The report cited the retaking of Mosul and retaliation by the Islamic State as cause for concern. And on a more broad level, “Trump’s foreign policy intentions are unclear, which in itself is a source of uncertainty and suggests the current outlook is one of much greater volatility.”
The report said Trump’s “mix of threats to use greater force in some cases — such as against ISIS — alongside indications of an intent to retrench from the Middle East, point to an inconsistent approach to managing relations and crises. ” The analysts identified other risks as well, which include “new tensions with China over Taiwan, potentially going back on the nuclear deal with Iran, and whether [Trump’s] policies will undermine confidence in U.S. commitment to NATO.”
Regarding targets, the analysts said that hotels and hospitality “appear to be attractive target areas for terrorist groups.”
The firms said that since it’s been recording terrorist attacks in 2007, “[hotels and hospitality] has been the fifth most-targeted business sector, after retail, oil and gas, media and construction.”
The analysts noted that this includes attacks that directly target hotels and hospitality, “but not necessarily all attacks affecting the sector.” Applying a broader definition and analysis of attacks on the global hospitality industry, the reported stated that “there have been at least 118 attacks on or directly affecting hotels and hospitality globally so far in 2016, a 46 percent increase compared with 2015.”
The reason is that the businesses in the sector tend to be open spaces with high concentrations of people, and “often have limited security, and are where high-value targets for terrorist groups congregate — such as foreigners and politicians.”